Good morning gang. Hope we're all doing well today. Let's get it started with an SEC question.
Kev, why do you seem to not like the SEC? I know you are a pac 12blogger and want the teams you cover to do well, but i remember you saying you arent going to give in to the SEC dominance but yet again they are poised to take the crystal for a 7th straight time and just look at the bcs top 10. Are u willing to admit it now?
James -- First, let's be clear. What I said was that I wasn't going to give into the mass-thinking when Alabama and Oregon were both undefeated that Alabama was simply better because they are in the SEC. Which is why I had Oregon No. 1 on my ballot. At the time, I was simply offering an alternative to the SEC-is-unstoppable dogma. As it turns out, both teams lost games. I have nothing against the SEC as a conference and you can't question their success.
How much does Vegas care about not repeating last year's match up (ASU vs Boise St) or the UW opener vs Boise St next year? Do the Wildcats sneak into that spot?
I think UW probably gets the nod there. Arizona is in a tough spot because it has the weakest conference record and that's what determines the pecking order. Thinking they are pretty much stuck in the New Mexico Bowl unless Kraft takes a gamble, but I don't see that happening.
Will Leach stay in Pullman? Will any of the SEC programs with openings make a run at him?
I think folks will mention his name -- legitimate or not. But he HAS to stay in Pullman. He is at a very sensitive juncture right now when it comes to his public perception. I think the Apple Cup win was huge and he needs to build off of whatever good will he gained from it.
Seeing as you wholeheartedly believe that Jim Mora played last week to win (which I 100% agree with), what was your opinion of his heated exchange with TJ Simers in the post-game conference? My opinion, while it was obvious Mora was honest when he said he wanted to win, and I believe he wanted to go against Oregon and play and beat them, maybe his team just wasn't as motivated. Stanford had a "our backs are against the wall" mentality, it was a MUST-win game, but UCLA didn't have that same mentality. I 100% believe that they did want to win, it's just that they weren't as motivated to win as Stanford.
I think that was just TJ being TJ. I was in the Stanford news conference and didn't see the actual exchange until I watched it again on video. Mora handled it the best he could. I know those two have a checkered history. TJ was just trying to get a rise out of him but Mora didn't bite. He's a pro in front of the cameras. As for the motivation factor -- you could be on to something. Whether it's psychological or not. I think UCLA is better than what it showed on Saturday. But it had nothing to do with effort. Hundley and Franklin played the entire game. They were going for it on fourth down. They played their hardest -- but not necessarily their best.
Terible yer for the cougs. But an apple cup win sure helps. Do you think this helps springboard them to more success next year or will it be more of the same?
Tough year, indeed. I think another year in the system benefits, naturally. Now the players know what his expectations are. Who knows if they make that monumental leap in year No. 2. But it can't be worse than this first year.
Can someone please mention the fact that I was punched by a fan after the game?
It's been mentioned several times. And it sucked. Props to you for your tweet and the maturity in which you handled it. Very classy on your end.
Kevin, What's your take on the information that came out of the McNair case? Do you think the NCAA didn't think those emails would be found?
Honestly, I don't know enough about it comment. I read one of the reports, but I don't have enough info (either on the inside or outside) to pass judgement.
Any chance USC doesn't get offered and/or accepts a bid to the Sun bowl?
That's probably the likeliest destination. The only real question is what's going to happen with the Alamo -- whether it takes UCLA (it has to take Stanford if the Bruins win) and I know the Holiday would be elated with Oregon State. Next up would be Sun and USC is a national brand so they'd jump at that.
Does will sutton come back to anchor the asu defense for another year?
I'm not sure ... will be interesting to see. I think he certainly could use another year of seasoning. Look at Star Lotulelei -- he's going to be a Top 10 pick this year. One more year would be beneficial.
Hi, Kevin, and thanks for coming on to chat yet again. I'm worried about the talent Stanford Football is losing after this year. Assuming they can keep the coaching staff intact but lose all the redshirt juniors, how do you see Stanford doing in the PAC-12 and the PAC-12 North next season?
Hi Cardinal Alumnus. Thanks for asking the question. Seems like every year we question how Stanford will do it. No Harbaugh, no problem. No Luck, no problem. I think it's time to start giving Stanford the benefit of the doubt that they will be able to make the adjustments. Yes, they lose a lot of talent on defense, but there is some good talent coming up as well.
Will UCLA have the advantage at the Qb position over SC for the next three years? As long as Hundley is around.
Maybe. If we learned anything this year, it's that young quarterbacks can play fantastic football too -- Mariota, Hundley, Hogan, Kelly. Will be interesting to see what an offseason of work does for Wittek.
Kevin, please help! Many of us can no longer comment outside of our phones. Why is ESPN trying to kill the commenter community?
Sorry, buddy. I have no idea what happens on that end of things or how to fix, control it.
Any rumblings on Barr and his potentially stunning us with leaving early to the draft?
Haven't heard anything yet. But I think, like Sutton, he could do with another year. Especially since he's only had one year at the position. Give him another year with Lou Spanos -- one of the best 3-4 coaches in college football given his time at Pittsburgh, and he'll be sensational.
Who is the favorite for the Cal and Colorado job in your mind?
Lots of choices here. Cal is in a better position right now than Colorado, so I'd expect a bigger name for the Bears -- Greg Roman pops up, obviously Petersen is being mentioned. Gary Anderson, Noel Mazzone, etc. At Colorado, I think Tim DeRuyter has done a great job at Fresno State -- another place it's tough to build. Mike McIntyre has turned around a terrible San Jose State program. And I think if Tedford wants to get back into the game immediately, Colorado could be a good landing spot.
Any idea if the PAC 12 plans on jumping back in on the expansion train anytime in the near future? If so, what kind of options to do you see them looking at with additions to the conference?
I had a long chat with Larry Scott about this last week. As of right now, there are no plans for expansion. With that said, they are monitoring the landscape and I'd expect they have a plan in place to move if they have to and the chips start falling.
What are the chances of Derek Mason leaving for another team next year?
That's another name. I'd say 50-50. He'll get calls.
So, basically, you have to get to the conference championship to get coach of the year now?
That's voted on by the coaches. So props to Shaw. If I were picking, I'd lean toward Mora or Riley. Not sure which one yet -- but given where Riley was before the season started and where he is now, it's awfully impressive.
Tell me your thoughts of Denard Robinson in the NFL QB,WR,Special teams hes a true athlete it would be a shame to see him not play. Also where is the best fit for him. and were would he end up in the draft?
I watched Michigan more closely last year -- only because I wanted to see how he would do in an Al Borges system (knowing Al fairly well from the SDSU days) and, not surprising, he didn't fit. I haven't studied him enough this year to make a serious evaluation. But WR seems like a good fit given the size and speed.
Boys! Avenge me! Avenge me!
BTW thanks for responding to me personally and also for joining in on comment. You and Ted have made this season much better for this Buff fan!
Thanks, pal. I know it's been a bummer of a season. But you have a been a faithful fan. Big ups to you.
We all know Ted's opinion, but do you also think Embree got a raw deal?
Yes. Very much so. And I texted him and told him so. I voted for three years in yesterday's blog poll.
What do you think UCLA's preseason rank should be?
Can't speak for the rest of the country, but if I were filling out a preseason Top 25 today, I'd have them top 15 based on another year in the system, the continuity they'll have on the offensive line and other key returners, like, ya know, that stud at quarterback.
We need a piece about "One Day in the Life of a PAC12 Blogger." We want to hear about all the parties, the lush suites, great buffets, and awesome perks.
Worst. Read. Ever.
How will the Pac-12 stack up in the preseason rankings? Who should be ranked, and where?
Uh... off the top of my head. Top five, Oregon. Top 10, Stanford. Top 15, UCLA, Oregon State. Top 25, USC, Washington, maybe Arizona and ASU. Would have to really study rosters.
Hey Kevin, what do you think of this proposition: Chip Kelly leaves for the soon-to-be open Carolina panthers job, installs no-huddle spread with Cam Newton. Seems like a good opportunity. (At least to husky fans)
Haha. Wouldn't that be dripping with irony.
Oregon is going to end up playing in the Fiesta Bowl right? do you see any scenarios where they dont?
More than likely. Scenarios always exist, but Fiesta is the most likely.
Do you think UCLA loses Mazzone to a head coach job this off season?
My gut says no, but that's not to say there won't be offers. I talked with him extensively about that yesterday, poking and prodding and trying to get anything to suggest otherwise. But my gut says he really likes having a raw Brett Hundley to shape for the next couple of years.
Homeland Q! Would Homeland have been an even better show now if Brody had gone through with it in the S1 finale?
Probably wouldn't be a Season 2 if he did... then again Game of Thrones knocked off its leading man in Season 1 (mini-spoiler, but if you aren't caught up by now, that's on you).
Kevin, Thanks for your great job covering the Pac-12 blog....even if we're still trying to find our footing on the football field, it's nice to know we get covered by an ESPN blog. Much better than the Mtn West.
Thanks, Chris. I still submit that Utah will be fine once the depth develops and they can keep a quarterback healthy.
Say something Funny!!!
Something funny ... (cop out.) OK, my hair is way better than Ted's.
What are the responsibilities of a pac-12 blogger in the off season? I will be leaning on you guys to get through the low months until Spring and then until Fall.
And we will be there for you all year (though we get our weekends back in January).
Does Ka'Deem Carey have a legitimate shot of being a Heisman contender next year?
If he can replicate the numbers -- I'd say he'll be high up in the conversation. A lot of people were late on him (and I'm guilty of that, as well). So hopefully he's on a lot more radars next year.
BHAHAHAHAHAHA - now that was funny!
Miller = trolling.
Will next season's Heisman trophy come down to Marcus Mariota vs Johnny Manziel? Seems highly possible.
Very strong possibility. Voters do love their quarterbacks. Full disclosure, I had Te'o No. 1 on my ballot the last couple of weeks. Lee will be in that mix as well.
Kevin, that's not even a mini-spoiler... Sean Bean dies in everything. You had to have seen that coming...
Dominique Williams was uncoverable during the Apple Cup Trufant a First team all pac CB had to literally shove him to the ground a few times to guard him. The next Wilson? without the quitters mentality?
Different body frame. He's a couple inches shorter than Wilson -- but not a bad start. 30+ catches, a three TDS, 500 yards. He's got the size on Gabe Marks, who also had a strong first year. Could be a scary combo in the years to come.
Kevin, I know you're a diehard Halo fan. What did you think of Halo 4?
Honestly, never played it in my life. Sorry, can't help you on that one.
I asked you a couple weeks ago about the WSU come back v UCLA. After WSU came back in similar fashion against UW. Is there something to the Air Raid and tiring out the opponents D?
I still think the UCLA comeback had more to do with the Bruins wanting to get out of the cold and having a huge first-half lead. But give the credit where credit is due for the effort. In the WSU game, a lot of it had to do with UW's mistakes. But you could be on to something. It's certainly a lot of running.
We are seeing more and more read-option, spread-type mechanics in pro offenses. Do you think that Hundley, and Mariota type mechanics will begin to fit into more of these pro systems?
One of my biggest gripes about the NFL is that people are attributing fantasy success to actual success. How many games has Cam Newton won? How many playoff games? Running quarterbacks get figured out or eventually hurt -- that's the nature of the NFL. The point is to win a Super Bowl and all of these dual-threat guys had better learn to be better pocket passers if they want to succeed in the playoffs.
Nice blog..Should have visted it earlier...Silas Redd had an awful year. Did USC coach oversell him and how much better for Silas would it have been if he stayed put?
Thanks Hunter, stick around for a while and you'll meet great, knowledgeable people. Don't know if he was oversold. He was a 1,000-yard rusher and the consensus was that he was the missing piece. The situation at PSU was obviously terrible for all involved. Who knows what would have happened had he stayed. But credit to the PSU guys who did.
ASU wins! And saves you from buying a chipotle gift card right? How do you feel?
He owes me one. And I'm feeling a tad hungry.
Obviously the UW choked at the end of the Apple cup, but considering the schedule, injurues, etc, would you consider it a successful year for them? What win total in 2013 would be considered successful as well?
Hmmm... tough question. I'd probably lean a little toward the no side. Eight wins in the regular season would have been a step forward. Now it feels like more of the same...
Not the prettiest 7-5, but 7-5 nontheless, you win the bet sir. Name what gift card you want
No worries. Save your money. We make millions as bloggers.
What are your powerball numbers?
See above... Ted and I have more money than we know what to do with. But, for kicks, 4,8,15,16,23,42.
ESPN going to be sending you to any bowl games? If so, what games/matchups would you like to attend/cover/work?
We'll know a little more about the travel schedule after games are announced. I'm hoping to be at the Poinsettia Bowl as a fan. Anyone from San Diego knows how bitter the BYU-SDSU rivalry is. I'll watch that one from the stands with my buddies.
Any staff changes at usc?
I think they need coordinators on both sides of the ball. Don't have any suggestions, yet. Been working the phones on the two head coaching vacancies. I just know they need them.
I see what you did there with the powerball numbers. Clever
Thanks. Still the best show ever.
How great has Dexter been this season?! Not sure where it is headed but excited to see where the writers take it!
Agreed. Fantastic television. The Trinity Season is still my favorite, but this season has been pretty darn good. The Deb-Dexter dynamic is freaky and fascinating.
Best gameday athmosphere in the PAC 12 besides Autzen?
This year, I'd have to say CenturyLink. That place is so fracking loud.
Thanks Damon. I heard you might be in on the new Star Wars (fingers crossed). Is it sad that three years later I can still spit out those numbers without even thinking?
Any regrets with taking Colorado into the Pac-12? Several continues bad years can't be good for the leagues image, even with what the PAC has at the top.
No. They knew the situation when they brought Colorado in. I still think that program turns around within 3-4 years. Might not be going to BCS games, but I'll say a low-level bowl game by 2015.
heavy rain in the forecast @ stanford. does it play to either teams advantage?
Meh. Maybe? UCLA did pretty good in the cold in Pullman. Stanford played a rain game at Notre Dame. It's a push, probably.
Why you avoiding my question? I'm the greatest Defensive Tackle in the nation.
Sorry, bud. They are coming fast and furious as always so I didn't see your first question. And yes, you're greatest defensive tackle in the nation (before the ASU hate mail comes in, you and Sutton are two very different players). For what you're asked to do, you are the best. Good luck in the NFL.
Does it creep youy out that Dexter and Deb were married in real life, then when they divorce there, their characters start out their weird tv show relationship
I was just talking about that with my best friend. I watch it every Sunday night at his place and we were noting the irony.
Yeah, going to the Poinsettia Bowl, JUST for the rivalry... c'mon, San Diego... in December!
Looking out the window now... clear skies, about 68 degrees. Think I'll take the dog for a walk after the chat.
Looking at Stanford's roster, and even accounting for the losses of Taylor, Skov, Thomas and likely one of Ertz and Toilolo, are we looking at a Top 5 team heading into next year?
Maybe not Top 5. But Top 10 seems about right.
The problem with using those numbers is that you'll be sharing the pot with about 10,000 other guys.
Exactly. Tried it once at Keno. Won $2.
Seriously, what just happened?
You got hosed.
Shaw took a strong program and kept it strong. Mora changed a culture in one trip to Bako, who was your vote for COY?
Between those two, the more I think about it, I'd take Riley.
Do you expect Fridays game to be closer than Saturdays? What do the Bruins have to do to adjust?
I do. Much, much better line play. I'm writing about this for tomorrow (and I'll have it in a video as well). Stanford didn't blitz as much as most people thought -- meaning they were able to get to Hundley with the base defense. Now they have the Bruins guessing whether they'll stick to the base or bring more guys this time around. Either way, UCLA needs better protection. Seven sacks have to be cut down to 2 -- 3 max.
What does Nicholls State have to do to win (the One Easy Game)?
Turn Oregon State into Evangel for an afternoon.
Best-case predictions for both teams in Pac-12 Championship? (besides the obvious win)
UCLA -- Better line play, Franklin goes for 125 and two. Hundley avoids all sacks and picks up 75 rushing yards on scrambles. The defense keeps Taylor below 100 yards and forces 2-3 turnovers. Stanford -- more of the same. Pound on offense, bring it on defense.
Assuming a Stanford win who goes to the Alamo Bowl?
That's the coin flip. UCLA or Oregon State. Thinking it will probably be the Bruins since they are more of a national brand. Plus, I know Holiday would prefer OSU because they are more likely to fill hotels for 3-4 days. UCLA would have too many day-trippers.
I know that we don't have match ups in place yet, but any predictions on how well the P12 performs in the bowls this year?
I'm thinking pretty well. The conference had an extremely impressive out of conference record. I wouldn't be shocked at six or seven wins.
With that, I'm out. Thanks as always for a great chat. Enjoy the game(s) this weekend.